Things I Love

Here is a list of things I love. They're presented in no particular order, and they are all things I love to go back and reread or rewatch every few months.

The population of a Q

by Michael McWatters — why do we build trains instead of buses?

The Abolition of Work

by Bob Black — why do we work, and can we work a lot less?

Observations From a Tipless Restaurant, Part 5: Sex, Power and Tips

by Jay Porter – tipping reinforces extant power structures. The other parts are good, but part 5 takes the cake.

Wears Jump Suit. Sensible Shoes. Uses Husband’s Last Name.

by Deborah Tannen – how society limits womens’s choices in presentation.

How to Be Polite

by Paul Ford – a beautiful piece about the sneaky and interesting ways that Paul likes to polite.

The Paradox of the Proof

by Caroline Chen — a complex proof of the ABC conjecture showed up on the Internet, and no one can determine whether it’s right or not.

Citation Needed

by Mike Hoye — why programmers zero-index, and what it says about the mindset of programmers.

7 Patterns to Refactor Fat ActiveRecord Models

by Bryan Helmkamp - a very formative blog post for me, and also inspired my 8 Patterns to Help You Destroy Massive View Controller.

Crazy, Heretical, and Awesome: The Way I Write Rails Apps

by James Golick — another formative blog post, this one describes breaking out objects to do stuff.

Meditations on Moloch

by Scott Alexander — how social structures are emergent, and why they treat humans worse than they should.

PHP: a fractal of bad design

by eevee — describing in detail exactly what we mean when we say PHP is bad.

Technical Debt 101

by Juan Lulkin — good ways to think about technical debt, and how to make sure it doesn’t consume you.

Kanye West is the Cassandra Of Our Troy

by Amanda Marcotte — a great theory about Kanye West and the things that plagued his career.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

by David H. Freedman — Medical Science isn’t as rigorous as it really should be.

On the Origin of Circuits

by Alan Bellows — a fascinating article about programmable hardware and evolutionary techniques.

Dirty Medicine

by Mariah Blake — just one part of the tremendously expensive medical complex in this country.

The Lion King – A Short History of Disney-Fascism

by Matt Roth — bound to make some folks uncomfortable, this great article describes the fascist roots of Disney’s stories.

They’re Made of Meat

by Terry Bisson — A great science fiction short story.

The Social Graph is Neither

by Maciej Cegłowski — There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your 201 class.

Rejected Pitch

by China Miéville — Iron Man re-imagined as a worker’s hero instead of a capitalist hero.

Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective

by Sam Hughes — How you might model marriage in a database


by Andrew Wonder — An underground expedition of the tunnels of New York City. 28 minutes.

Mike Rowe on Lamb Castration, PETA, and American Labor

by Mike Rowe — How we can be wrong about the world around us, and what realization looks like. 21 minutes.